Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Around the Horn

This week is the official beginning of hope. Spring training has started, everyone is a potential World Series champion, and warmer days are just around the corner.

In honor of baseball, here are a three bases and a home run from around the blogosphere.

At first base, Ben says, “Sometimes, the Bible doesn't say everything we wish it said, even if our wishes are motivated by our desires to defend it.” This is in response to a discussion about whether or not Genesis 1-2 teaches something about the length of the creation days and weeks.

This past week, I preached from Mark 10:1-12 about marriage. A thought that I had (and probably said) rings true here. Ben is right that sometimes the Bible doesn’t say everything we wish it said. But often, it says far more than we are willing to admit, whether about creation or marriage.

I think Genesis 1-2 is pretty clear. There is really no other way that God could have communicated six successive twenty-four hour days. There are, on the other hand, much better ways to communicate long periods of time.

At second base, Mark set off a bit of a firestorm with some comments about Christ in the OT. Here’s the funny thing: I think what Mark said about separation in the OT is far more controversial than what he said about Christ in the OT. Of course, I say that in light of Mark’s helpful clarifications both in the comments there and in this subsequent post. I post my “mostly agreement” with Mark here instead of at his blog so that no one will see that I agree mostly with Mark.  There is no doubt that Christ is in the OT, in the Law and the Prophets. But I also think that there is no doubt that Christ is not nearly so omnipresent in the OT as many people seem to think. Perhaps later I will write a bit on my take on Christ in the OT, but suffice it to say that if we are going to preach the text as the text, Christ will not be preached as the meaning of the text all the time.

I think the whole “Gospel-centered preaching” from the OT is well-intended, but I fear that it adds a pious slant to old moralism, such as Dave indicates here. Interesting, a long time ago I started a post quoting the same thing Dave quotes because I was astounded that Tim Keller actually said this. I didn’t take time to transcribe it but you can read it for yourself. I think the lectures where Keller gives this illustration are excellent, and helpful in so many ways. Just don’t use his examples.

At third base, a couple of parables showed up on the internet this week, along with a complaint by someone that he couldn’t understand one of the parables. This included a demand for an apology for the parable. I think he means an explanation, but perhaps in a moment of sensus plenior, he actually means something else. I wonder if he holds Christ to the same standard, demanding an apology for His parables.

And for the home run, just when you think it can’t get any more bizarre, I happened upon a discussion about the KJV and Revelation 16:5. A commenter, ironically (or perhaps prophetically) using the handle of “Faith” says:

ANYWAY, this being the situation, the decisions of faithful translators simply ARE evidence equal to the manuscript evidence. OBJECTIVELY equal. This isn’t just an arbitrary thing I’m saying. There is very good manuscript and version support for Holy One in 16.5, including previous English versions by faithful translators, but nevertheless Beza chose against it and gave reasonable support for his decision, and the KJV translators followed him rather than the other line of evidence.

BOTH LINES HAVE TO BE CONSIDERED FAITHFUL TO GOD’S WORD because there is no objective way of deciding one way or the other. Beza COULD have been right in his conjecture that the verse once read as he corrected it to read. WE CAN’T KNOW.

What we learn is that manuscript evidence doesn’t matter so long as a “faithful translator” (apparently defined as someone who translated the KJV) inserted some words into the text. Of course, words inserted by someone other than a “faithful translator” don’t count. They are perversions and corruptions.

What we also learn (in what is perhaps a bit of a Freudian slip), is that two contradictory readings can both be considered “faithful to God’s word,” which destroys the whole movement this commenter is apparently trying to save.

I think what we learn most of all is that a segment of KJVOnly proponents have no clue what they are talking about, and regularly participate in and propagate beliefs and arguments that have the potential of destroying the Christian faith.

And now, in honor of spring training (and Jim Rome), I’m out.

1 comment:

TimT said...

I demand an apology because I don't know what sensus plenior means.